Monday, July 31, 2023

Flash Flood Risk Tonight

Flash flood conditions are in progress in Colorado to the south of Denver. They will worsen for at least the next three hours (10:30pm MDT). Please keep up with local weather information. 

After 11pm, I expect thunderstorms with heavy rain to develop in the red area of western Missouri below. There is a chance of heavy rains in the green area.
It would not surprise me for 6 to 8 inches of rain to fall in a spot or two. If this is correct, it will cause significant flash flooding. If you live in a low or flood-prone area, please take your smartphone to bed. 

Here is the rainfall that fell up to 8am. 

And, it is still raining in Missouri as of 9:14am. 

Why We Urge Sheltering on the Lowest Floor

Due to friction with the ground, wind speeds are lowest near the ground and increase with height. In tornadoes, the basement is best. If you don't have a basement, go to a bath or closet in the middle of the home on the lowest floor.

In hurricanes, a basement is not as certain due to the possibility of flooding. It is probably better to shelter in the middle of the house and definitely away from windows. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Spectacular Lightning Display

This is one of the most spectacular lightning time-lapses I have seen in a long time. Please enjoy!

Sunday Fun: The Mesocyclone

Pecos Hank has produced another of his inimitable videos. This time, the topic is the mesocyclone that drives supercell thunderstorms. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Friday, July 28, 2023

Area of Extreme Winds Possible

The hatched area is where wind gusts of 75 mph are forecast to occur the rest of the evening. 

8:10pm, NWS is forecasting winds in excess of 80 mph in the area outlined below. 

7:15pm Update

Scattered severe thunderstorms and, in northeast Iowa, a few tornadoes dave developed. The weather system moving southeast in Wisconsin has the best chance of congealing into a major wind system. 

More Power Outage Problems Likely

We have another day with the possibility of a major windstorm. 
The yellow area has a significant risk of thunderstorm-generated wind gusts of 60 mph winds or stronger. The red area has an enhanced risk.

Below is a map of where people are still without power. The numbers represent "customers" (homes and businesses) without power. That represents about 300,000 people in the Midwest. 
Another storm will only worsen the situation.

While on the subject of the Midwest storms. the yellow area has a significant risk of 1" hail or larger. Where you see the hatching, hail 2" or larger is forecast to fall.
I will update again this late this afternoon.

A History Lesson

A lot of historical revisionism has been floating around social media since Friday's release of Oppenheimer -- much of it claiming (paraphrasing), "invading Japan would have been no big deal." I believe this pretty much settles the issue. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

The First Tornado Detection By Doppler Radar

Actual Image of El Dorado Tornado
KAKE-TV in Wichita has produced an outstanding documentary on the first-ever use of Doppler radar to detect a tornado, which was in Wichita in 1958. That tornado struck the City of El Dorado, Kansas. It was an F-4 intensity tornado (would be rated EF-5 today) that killed 13.  

After World War II, Wichita received the first-ever weather radar from the Weather Bureau. Then, in 1958 and '59, we and Wichita Falls, Texas, had experimental Dopplers (image below). 
The radar in Wichita measured a wind of 206 mph in the El Dorado Tornado. Unfortunately, it would be 34 years before the first operational Doppler radar would be deployed for the detection of tornadoes and other storms. 
While I had no involvement in the production of KAKE's excellent documentary, there are some personal notes I would like to add. First, the people of El Dorado have, over the years, been extremely kind to me. I was so honored to speak at the dedication of the tornado memorial (seen at the end of the documentary). I want to thank everyone in El Dorado.

In the documentary, the newscaster you see was my dear friend, the late Greg Gamer. Greg was a fixture of news in south central Kansas and I had the pleasure of working with him for more than two decades back in my television days. He was an outstanding journalist. 

Finally, even though the experimental Doppler radar detected the violent tornado, its data was not available for analysis in real-time. There was no warning of the storm and the people of the city were especially caught off-guard due to its unusual northwest to southeast movement. It was before the era of civil defense siren use for tornado warnings (another Wichita innovation, in 1958) or television break-ins. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Tornado Risk Wednesday: Great Lakes Region

This is the Wednesday and Wednesday night tornado forecast from @nadocast whose forecast, in this situation, I believe is most correct. Using my scale:
  • Red = high risk
  • Yellow = enhanced risk
  • Brown = significant risk
Please do not take the location of the red dot too literally. Given that it is the day before, the entire forecast may shift a bit. 

My intention is to give the region a "heads up" and to suggest that residents of the region monitor trusted local sources of weather information tomorrow. 

Global Warming: How True!

And, yet, this huge hypocrisy  -- which infects so much of climate science -- is unrecognized by the insiders. 

So, I was shocked yesterday when the Washington Post, one of the leading conveyors of climate hype, ran this article:
Of course, I would say that "throwing money at counterproductive solutions" is not much of a policy. Regardless, the article, which is here, seems pretty mild and obvious to me. I surmise that is true of most readers. But, as the author notes, "angry climate activists" will reject common sense. He ends the article:

This inevitably means talking about climate change more as a problem to be managed than as a crisis that requires a total restructuring of the economy. The fact that many climate activists angrily reject such language suggests sustainable progress in fighting climate change will remain elusive.

"A problem to be managed." Where have our readers heard that before? 

But, before you become optimistic that, at last, maybe the global warming fanatics will calm down, here are the first three entries in the "comments" to the article:
Insects? Sigh. 🙄

Monday, July 24, 2023

Great Stock Photography...

With autumn coming up:

And, if you don't see what you need at my Adobe collection (above), there are more business-focused photos at Shutterstock.
Please check them out. 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Shame on Climate 'Science'...

Climate 'science,' where hype overcomes facts.

This is what drives me crazy about climate 'science' and climate scientists. They should be condemning this unscientific nonsense in the strongest possible terms. Instead, silence.

Here is the issue as reported by Bjorn Lomborg and Jo Nova, the allegedly scientific journal Lancet attempted to visually overstate the number of deaths due to heat when we know -- and has been reported on this blog innumerable times -- cold kills far more. So, what did they do? They distorted the graph! 

Below is the base axis:
On the left is the legend for deaths due to cold. On the right side of zero is the axis for heat deaths. They are not close to being equal!

The graph on the left is how it was presented in Lancet, which makes it look like heat deaths number far more than they actually do.
On the right is Bjorn Lomborg's graph of the same numbers of deaths with the same axis. It becomes easy to see that cold kills ten times more than heat.

Of course, that scientific fact is intolerable to global warming 'science.'

I saw an article the other day that claimed climate science "hadn't gotten its message out" because scientists "distain marketing." Utter nonsense. All we hear about is "climate change," "climate emergency" and "climate weirding," and other focus-grouped non-scientific terms. 

Fact: Many summers have been hotter than the summer of 2023. Fact: We are 2/3 of the way through July and the horrible, early hurricane season -- predicted due to warm ocean water -- has been an utter bust. 

Just yesterday, the hurricane hype machine cranked up because of a wave in the Atlantic. 70, gasp, percent, they said. 

Now, the probability is down to 40% and the new European and UKMET models (the best hurrcane models in my opinion) show nothing threatening the USA between now and August 1. 
This is a hype-free site when it comes to hurricanes and other forms of extreme weather.  So, if you want the real scoop about hurricanes or any other type of weather, please check in from-time-to-time. 

Sunday Fun: And, I'll Be Behind Them in the Drive-Through!

But, will the McMarriage package include Diet Cokes? Can you imagine the size of the cardboard carrier?

Friday, July 21, 2023

NO, The World Is Not Burning Up

Since you've heard this from me many times, I decided to link to two other experts:

Dr. Cliff Mass has a PhD in meteorology and is a professor of meteorology at the University of Washington.
Cliff walks his readers through the meteorology, here

Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. is a policy expert in Colorado. 
He works on the meteorology with his father, the distinguished Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. His piece on the incredible hype surrounding heat is here

Addition: July 23.
Dr. Ryan Maue has plotted (above) the daily high temperatures from 2014 to 2022 in black with 2023 in red. As you can see, there is nothing especially unusual about this year. 

It is all hype. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Flooding Likely

Widespread 2-5 inch rains are expected late this evening and into the pre-dawn hours in the red area. Areas of flash flooding are likely. 

There is also a good chance of damaging winds later this evening and late tonight. Winds may gust over 75 mph in the hatched area.

At 6:50pm, the NWS SPC says this is the corridor for the strongest winds.

Please keep up with the weather in these areas!

Today's Tornado Risk

Tornado Risk

The brown areas have significant risks for tornadoes. 

Damaging Wind Risk
The red area has an enhanced risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger. The yellow areas have a significant risk. Especially in the red area, power outages are possible along with tree damage. 

The red, hatched area is where wind gusts of 75 mph or stronger are forecast to occur. It likely there will be power outages.

Flash Flood Risk
Who would have thought this possible on June 1? Southwest Kansas, which was in extreme drought, has a flash flood risk tonight. The moderate risk includes eastern Colorado. 

Derecho Threats

I can't remember when there were derecho threats in two parts of the nation simultaneously but, here we go:

Damaging Winds
Red indicates there is an enhanced risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger. Yellow indicates a significant risk. Where there is hatching, there is the potential of winds of 75 mph or stronger. 

There is the potential for tree damage and power outages in these areas, especially in the red color. 

Hail Risk
The red, hatched area is where there is an enhanced risk of 2"or larger hail. Yellow areas have a significant risk of hail 1" or larger. Where there is hatching, there is a chance of 2" hail.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Strong Tornado -- Without Advance Warning -- Strikes North Carolina

Tornado Warning Cancer Strikes Again
This Time With an EF-3 Tornado
We've had yet another strong tornado go unwarned -- for at least ten minutes -- in northeast North Carolina. This was another straightforward warning situation. And, to make it even worse, the National Weather Service (NWS) knew there was a tornado doing damage for four minutes before they issued a tornado warning!

I'm not the only meteorologist who has noticed. 
"Concerning/disappointing" is to put it mildly. We know there are injuries and significant damage. We also know the NWS office Raleigh knew the tornado was doing damage for at least four minutes before issuing its first tornado warning of the day!
This is another example of poor tornado warning service; and they seem to be coming at least weekly these days. "Tornado warning cancer" has spread across the National Weather Service. The term "meteorological cancer" was coined by National Weather Service meteorologist Len Snellman in a peer-reviewed piece in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in 1977. The term "cancer," which pertains to inability of the NWS to issue a tornado warning in these straightforward tornado situations, seems appropriate. The retirement of experienced meteorologists and their replacement by relatively untrained young, inexperienced meteorologists clearly leaves the organization weaker. 

Review of This Afternoon's Tornado Signals
At 11:42 am (all times Eastern), the NWS's Storm Prediction Center highlighted the area where the tornado later occurred, which should have given the local offices with warning responsibility a "heads up." One would have thought this notice would have caused the Raleigh WSR-88 radar, which was operating at five minute data intervals, to be put it into SAILS mode with updates at two minutes or faster. It didn't. The radar remained on five minute intervals which is too infrequent to properly monitor tornadoes. 

Let's pick up the radar at 12:06pm. This is the Raleigh NWS WSR-88D. There is rotation beginning as well as a suggestion that a hook might form with the strengthening thunderstorm northeast of Raleigh. 
Note: I would not have issued a tornado warning at this point. 

There are clearly signs of a tornado at this point. The rotation (right) has improved. On the left, there is a weaker echo (yellow) surrounding by stronger echo (orange) which suggests that a tornado may be centrifuging raindrops. Considering the SIGTOR (a measure of how conducive the atmosphere is to producing tornadoes) was a mediocre 1, I may have held off. I'm not sure. 

The image at left show what might be a "debris ball" -- lofted debris -- forming. The rotation, at right, is about the same as before but with the debris ball, I wouldn't have risked it. I would have sent a tornado warning to my clients. 

A tornado warning is unquestionably called for here. At left, a classic "hook echo" signature of a tornado and, at right, tightened rotation. All of this was confirmed by the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar's data (not shown). Unfortunately, the tornado warning wouldn't be issued for another 11 minutes!

However, between 12:21 and 12:25, NBC 12 in Raleigh was independenly warning its viewers. 
There are some good television meteorologists in Raleigh and I suspect the other stations sere doing the same or similar. 

Wow. I'm just flabbergasted there is no tornado warning at this point. Everything a meteorologist working the radar would want to see is there. The rotation could be tighter but it is infrequent that everything lines up perfectly. 

Significant damage has occurred. 

The reflectivity data tells us everything we need to know. There is a tornado (hook echo) on the ground lofting debris (pink pixels in the middle of the hook). 
Finally, a tornado warning is issued. 
But, incredibly, even though they know of damage and they know from the coincident 12:31pm radar image that the tornado is still on the ground (because it is lofting debris), they write "radar indicated rotation" instead of much stronger language. 

The warning hit Twitter at 12:32pm.
With an official tornado warning, WEA is activated on smartphones, weather radios go off, communities with sirens sound them, and television and radio stations often go to continuous coverage. Without the tornado warning, people in the path who are going about their business (there was no tornado watch to tip them off to monitor the weather) wouldn't know they were in danger. 

Twenty-six minutes later, at 12:57pm, the tornado evidently is still on the ground with quite a bit of debris in the air. 

Update: It was at least an EF-3

Pfizer has a large manufacturing plant that took a hit. No serious injuries reported. Local media is reporting that 50,000 pallets of medicine have been "affected" by the tornado. 

There are numerous homes damaged and reports of injuries.

The tornado crossed Interstate 95, which was closed for at least 30 minutes.

The crucial issue can be summed up with a single image. The rotation path (a proxy for the tornado's path but we will not know the exact path until the NWS does a field survey) was determined with radar. Most of it was unwarned. Raleigh is at lower left (click to enlarge).

I've literally said prayers that none of the people reported injured were seriously hurt. I would ask you to do the same.

The National Weather Service's utter failure to issue timely tornado warnings on major tornadoes is a major scandal. The agency cannot be depended on to provide protection to the American people in these circumstances. 

It is crucial that concerned citizens contact their congressional delegation. Only outside intervention will cause this to stop. I continue to call for the creation of a National Disaster Review Board modeled after the hugely successful National Transportation Safety Board.